Feyisara Onakoya, Lagos
Justice Mojisola Dada of Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, Special Offences section, has sentenced Chibundu Joseph Anuebunwa to one year in prison with the option of a N1.5 million fine.
In delivering her judgment, Justice Dada said: “The defendant must forfeit the sum of N29.220 million found in his procession to the Federal Government of Nigeria and because the defendant did not waste the time of the court and also a first time offender, he is hereby sentenced to one-year imprisonment or an option of fine of N1.5 million.”
Chibundu was found guilty on two charges of conspiracy to steal and retaining stolen property which are contrary to Sections 411 and 328(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The convict committed the crime alongside his brother, Princewill Ugonna Anuebunwa now at large, according to a petition sent to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) by the FBI dated 10th of July 2019. The petition had stated that the two brothers were involved in BEC (Business Email Compromise) fraud, romance scams, Mystery shopper fraud and tax fraud.
The prosecution I.A. Mohammad told the court that the defendant had in his possession the sum of N29,220,000m which was found out during the investigation and in view of the guilty plea by the defendant, he should be sentenced to prison in accordance with the law.
Defence counsel, A.A. Adetunji pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy. “My lord, the convict before you today was never arrested by the EFFC. He went to their office on his own accord. He is a family man, remorseful and has learnt from his mistake.”